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    • I've decided I want to do a marathon to get myself back into shape, but I've only done one marathon ever and it was years and years ago. I also didn't really know what I was doing at the time so I don't think I've ever properly trained for one. In some ways I feel like I'm starting from scratch. What are some of your tips for getting into marathon shape?

    • I'm a huge fan of the book Run Less, Run Faster. You do 3 runs per week and cross train a few times if you like. One is intervals on the track, one is a tempo run, and a long run on the weekends. They tell you what marathon pace you're going to run depending on the times you clock.

      I gave one to my son-in-law and for his first marathon he had a goal time of 3:45. He ran 3:45. Now it's his bible.

    • That's interesting, I've heard over and over from different people that it is counter productive to run more than 3 days a week. I also have a lot of friends who run, then end up reducing their running volume in and add in more cycling for cross training due to running overuse injuries.

      Though most of those runners end up enjoying cycling more and switch over completely :P

    • I think I might need to take a look at this. The daily run thing has become unsustainable for me and I've lost interest despite these amazing audiobooks I want to catch up on!

    • I used to do a 20-24 mile long run every saturday or sunday for years. What I learned is that you don't have to put in huge mileage to not only do a marathon but to get fast at doing them. The key is to do a single long run every 7-10 days. I did it every 7 days but it needn't be that often. The day you do the long run ends up being an easy paced run that just keeps getting longer and longer until you're going the distance you want. Listen to your body and stop when you feel pain. When I say pain I'm not talking about being sore and tired but pain as in feeling like some kind of injury. Don't increase your mileage too fast. I've never been one to walk between parts of my run but apparently it's common with people. As I've never done that method I can't speak to it.

      On the days you aren't doing the long runs do a variety of runs. I guess I should also say that you want to be reasonably well rested before you do the long run day. My training was focused not just on going far but being fast as well (I used to run 10 miles in an hour). I did two interval workouts during the week. That means speed work at max efforts (I'd do 5 minute miles with an easy paced rest in between). These intense interval days require rested legs and body and should not be done too close to one another nor the day before a long run. On other days I did short recovery runs as well as varied length and speed runs. Fartlek was something I did more than very strict interval type workouts. I'd say the biggest mistake I saw runners make was to do the same distance every day and at the same speed. In case it's not clear I only ran once a day and always took at least one day off from exercising.

    • If you are running for fitness and have already got the 26 miler off your bucket list - the half marathon might be a better target. It is not as demanding on the body from a joint and bone damage perspective - so less chance for the kinds of injury new runners who push too hard too soon usually end up with. The training requirements are shorter and faster so you will achieve your goals in the nearer future. The recovery is just a day or two once you are in shape so you can run two a month and really build up your "free shirt" collection ;). It still requires a fair measure of endurance training but it's not like having a second job. My marathon training required compromises in realtionships, work and family time. It was burdensome. A half needs 7hrs a week. It is also complimentary - if you can run 14 miles, you can run 26 so you can treat it as a stepping stone if you like.

    You've been invited!